Expanded CWS emergency appeal: 2011 Spring storms - update

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tornadoes and floods have caused massive destruction in parts of the West, Midwest and South this spring.

Appeal Number 627-P
Original Appeal Goal: $80,000
Now expanded to $280,000


Tornadoes and floods have caused massive destruction in parts of the West, Midwest and South this spring. Tornadoes killed at least 160 people in late May, including at least 116 people in Joplin, MO., on May 22. Floods forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes along the lower Mississippi River. The damage from these disasters is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

Among recent disasters in the last week:

Tornadoes May 25 in Sedalia, MO, an event that did not get much attention given the media coverage of Joplin. Thirty homes were destroyed, with damage also affecting more than 100 homes and businesses.

Tornadoes also affected Reading, KS, where three-quarters of the town's homes were either damaged or destroyed. This occurred the day before the Joplin tornadoes.
Flooding in the Lake Champlain, VT, area. Flooding has impacted several communities including Barre, Berlin and St. Johnsbury. In those and other communities 29 homes in predominately low-income areas were destroyed, and more than 250 homes damaged, most major. State authorities and FEMA are conducting preliminary damage assessments.

CWS response:

CWS has shipped the following to affected areas, with some sent directly to requesting agencies and some to community warehouses for rapid distribution by requesting communities: 868 Cleanup Buckets, 1,020 Blankets, 780 Baby Kits, 4260 School Kits and 33,960 Hygiene Kits. The material resources are valued at $492,067 and the processing and shipping costs total $15,625. Communities served include Butler, Ala.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Birmingham, Ala.; Raleigh, N.C.; Monmouth, Ill.; Gray, Tenn.; Little Rock, Ark.; Hoover, Ala.; and Atlanta, Ga.

CWS is preparing to ship 200 Cleanup Buckets to Crow Agency, Mont., a Native American community affected by flooding.

A CWS emergency response specialist is conducting training sessions on long-term disaster recovery in Cleveland, Tenn., where a tornado killed nine people on April 27. CWS is planning long-term recovery training sessions for communities affected by disasters in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina. A confirmed list of training locations will be available soon.


Total is $280,000. This includes $240,000 for long-term recovery start-up, with a minimum of 30 groups and a maximum grant of $8,000 each. Other expenses: $20,000 for material resources and shipping; $20,000 for long-term recovery group training.

HOW TO HELP: Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, Appeal #627-P, 2011 Spring Storms, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

CWS urgently needs donations of Cleanup Buckets for the Spring Storms response, communities affected by the upcoming hurricane season and other needs. Info on Cleanup Buckets is available at:

Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.